Gemma Modinos tells Julie Gould how she honed her leadership skills as a young scholar.

How do you learn leadership skills as a researcher, and how well is science served by its current crop of leaders?

These are just two of the questions asked of scientific leaders from a range of different sectors and backgrounds in this five-part Working Scientist podcast series all about leadership.

In this episode, Spanish neuroscience and mental health researcher Gemma Modinos talks about her own leadership journey as a group leader at King’s College London and former chair of the Young Academy Europe.

Modinos compares “command and control” leadership styles with more collaborative approaches and says aspiring science leaders should not neglect leadership training as part of their career development.

Learning how to say no effectively and allocating time to meet looming deadlines is another key skill, she tells Julie Gould.

But should all early career researchers nurture leadership ambitions? No, says Modinos. “Not everyone has to strive to become a PI, or to be involved in chairing an organization, or being president, or being in boards,” she says.

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